People stream in to health department vaccine clinic

Belmont County

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) The sign still says “By Appointment Only”, but now appointments aren’t actually required.

All you really need is to be 16 or older and to show an ID.

As the clinic in the former Sears building opened, the crowd was huge.

The line was wrapped clear around the building. We had throngs of people wanting to get in and we have a method to our madness. The wait time is practically zero.

Becky Horne, Belmont County EMA

We know people don’t want to wait in lines. If they come out for their shot, we’re not going to make them wait.

Rob Sproul, Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner

On the day’s agenda were 800 second doses and 300 first doses.

We’ve even had some walk-ups coming in for their first doses, so we’ve been moving them through the line and it’s been a very good day.

Rob Sproul, Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner

People getting their second dose don’t have to stay 15 minutes to monitor for reactions.

If you didn’t have it the first time, you won’t have it the second time. We do ask people who may have asthma or some underlying health conditions to stick around for a couple minutes on the second one, but realistically, on the second one, you get the shot and you move on.

Rob Sproul, Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner

Some people said they can’t wait to throw away their mask, but officials caution it’s not quite time yet.

Right now, they’re still asking people to wear a mask even though they’re vaccinated if you’re around people you don’t know. You may still be able to spread the virus. The CDC hasn’t come back with a full decision on that yet. So, you might be around somebody who is not able to take the shot. So they’re asking you to still wear the mask for now.

Rob Sproul, Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner

As of Thursday, Belmont County has seen 5,981 COVID-19 cases and 116 deaths. Health officials say they are seeing several different variants.

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